Explore Public Art in Salem

Many works of fine art are on display in City of Salem public buildings or outdoors in the downtown Salem area. These include pieces from the City of Salem public art collection, which is managed by the Salem Public Art Commission, as well as pieces owned by other parties, such as the Salem Public Library Foundation.

Check out the online Public Art Scavenger Hunt by tapping on the button below. This virtual adventure tests your knowledge of eight outdoor artworks and provides a bird's eye view of the city.

City of Salem Public Art Collection

Artworks in the City of Salem collection were created using a wide variety of media, and together they span more than 50 years of regional art history. From Constance Fowler’s Gardiner, Oregon (The Village), painted in 1938, to James Hansen’s recently restored Crescent Probe, the art collection showcases a variety of materials, styles, and periods of art-making in Oregon.

The majority of works in the City of Salem’s public art collection date back to the original Mayor’s Art Invitational at the 1972 Civic Center opening and the 1976 Mayor’s Art Invitational exhibitions. Additional works have been donated individually at various times. More recently, several pieces have been acquired through the City of Salem’s half-a-percent for public art program, which applies to eligible City-funded capital construction projects.

For more information, see Salem Revised Code Chapter 15.

Recent Additions

Good Cents by Lillian Pitt, Mikkel & Saralyn HildeEquitas by Blessing Hancock

Locations of Public Art

From your smart phone or your desk, you can take a self-guided tour of the public art on display throughout the Civic Center, on public lawns and plazas, in the corridors and meeting rooms of the Salem Public Library and the City Council Chambers, and in downtown Salem. As you navigate the map, you’ll find information about each piece and the artist who created it.

Check out the online Public Art Scavenger Hunt as a fun way to test your knowledge of Salem's public art. Once you've finished the virtual hunt, visit the artwork in-person and snap a photo!